Monday 19 May 2003

By Amy Taylor, Clare Jerrom and Alex

GPs to prescribe heroin for hard-core

Home secretary David Blunkett has confirmed that guidelines
encouraging specialist doctors to prescribe injectable heroin for
the most heavy drug users, are to be published soon.
The guidelines will be followed by pilot schemes where doctors will
prescribe heroin in line with clinical need, with the aim of
helping users to manage their habit and prevent them committing
crime to pay for drugs.
Source:- The Guardian Saturday 17 May page 4

Racism in botched murder inquiries
No police officers will face any charges in relation to the murder
investigation of black musician Michael Menson in 1997 despite the
Police Complaints Authority labelling them negligent and
The Crown Prosecution Service recently informed Menson’s family
that there is insufficient evidence to bring charges against any
officers in the Metropolitan police.
Source:- The Guardian Saturday 17 May page 8

Judge frees lonely son who killed his parents after a
life of caring for them
A man who killed his chronically ill parents after having
cared for them all of his life escaped jail yesterday.
The Old Bailey heard how Daniel Gardner fell into a deep depression
after his mother got dementia and his father was left bedridden and
in severe pain.
Gardner suffocated both his parents using a plastic bag and told a
social services worker: “I have done what I have done. It was their
Source:- The Independent Saturday 17 May page 2

Helpline launched for trouble teens
Connexions Direct, a new government funded helpline service, is to
be launched tomorrow.
The £457 million service aims to help all teenagers, but
particularly 16-18 year olds who drop out of school without 
qualifications or a job.
Source:- The Independent on Sunday 18 May page 6

‘Asylum seekers raise crime rate’ says police

Britain’s most senior police officer has said that a “tidal wave”
of asylum seekers coming into Britain, and high levels of migration
has created a “whole new range of crimes”.
Speaking in an interview with ‘The Observer’, Chris Fox, president
of the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO), linked
migration and the emergence of a range of new crimes.
Source:- The Independent on Sunday 18 May page 13

Blair claims ‘dramatic reduction’ in number of asylum

The Prime Minister will announce that the government is set to meet
its target of halving the number of refugees claiming asylum by
October at a press conference on Thursday.
Tony Blair will also say there has been a ‘dramatic fall’ in the
number of asylum seekers coming to Britain, and will issue the
latest quarterly figures.
In response, the Conservatives have claimed that he was “fiddling
the figures”.
Source:- The Sunday Telegraph 18 May page 1

Autism study prompts fears over mystery environmental

A new study has found that the number of children with autism has
doubled in California in the past four years fuelling international
concern that an environmental factor may be make them more likely
to suffer from the condition.
Source:- The Sunday Telegraph 18 May page 1

Teenagers forced into UK slavery
Children are being trafficked into Britain to carry out housework
and to do chores for free.
The main victims are west African girls promised a Western
education only to find themselves acting as slaves for wealthy
The legal loophole which allows the practice to take place,
identified by children’s charity Unicef, is set to be closed by the
government. The charity is preparing a major study into child
trafficking to be published later this month.
Source:- The Observer Sunday 18 May page 11

Councils vie to run healthcare for

The best performing councils could have control over the entire
budget for elderly health care covering  hospital and social
services, under new proposals being discussed with ministers
The  measures would mean the authorities could commission hospital
care from the NHS, but mean they had an incentive to provide
cheaper alternatives in the community.
Source:- The Times Monday 19 May page 2

Is this the ultimate in nanny state control?
Ofsted inspectors will soon visit parents in their homes
to ask them about the quality of care provided by their nanny to
ensure that children are not in danger.
The nanny will also be required to provide a risk assessment plan
of their employer’s home highlighting potential danger areas such
as slippy floors.
Inspectors themselves are also expected to point out hazards in
parents’ homes and gardens.
The checks have been ordered to monitor the quality of care
provided by nanny’s who work within parents’ homes, rather than
taking children into their own.
Source:- The Daily Mail Monday 19 May page 8

The hotline set up to cold-shoulder
An Inland Revenue hotline has been designed to
specifically “fob off” people inquiring about the new tax credit
An outside firm, MM Group, has been employed to handle the over
spill of inquiries about the credits which cannot be dealt with by
the revenue but has no access to their computers and was therefore
unable to answer questions.
Instead its staff were told to say a rehearsed script.
Source:- The Daily Mail Monday 19 May page 8

Anger at police claim of asylum crime wave
Refugee organisations have criticised comments made by
Britain’s most senior police officer that a high level of migrants
has brought a wave of organised crime.
The organisations labelled the remarks “unfortunate and
Source:- The Guardian Monday 19 May page 9

Scottish newspapers

Man gets temporary leave from prison and strikes
The Prison Service was criticised last night following an
attack on two older people by a man granted temporary release from
Gordon Johnson was permitted to go shopping for four hours despite
absconding twice before while on training for freedom leave and
committing offences against older and disabled people.
Johnson, who used to work as a sheltered housing warden, was jailed
for 12 years for his latest attacks which brings his total sentence
to 31 years since 1990.
Help the Aged’s Liz Duncan said it was
“We cannot understand why this man, who has a pattern of
dangerous behaviour, was allowed out so often and every single time
he has struck again,” she said.
Source:- The Scotsman  Saturday 17 May
Seven pupils arrested
Seven pupils have been arrested following an alleged assault on a
teacher outside Hillhead High School in Glasgow.
The pupils were all boys aged between 15 and 17 and one could face
permanent exclusion after the school’s assistant headteacher
was allegedly assaulted during the incident, a Glasgow council
spokesperson said.
Source:- The Scotsman  Saturday 17 May
OAP gets 18 months for abusing girls aged

An older man behaved indecently with a seven-year-old girl, went on
the run and was not traced until he was involved in a car crash in
the Borders.
Joseph Welsh, aged 67, was jailed for 18 months and placed on the
sex offenders’ register at Edinburgh sheriff court
Sheriff Charles Stoddart ordered that Welsh should serve 18 months
on licence following his release.
Source:- The Scotsman  Saturday 17 May
Three charged after drugs raid at centre for

Three men were arrested and charged following a police raid on a
drop in centre for homeless people where small amounts of heroin
were seized.
One 23-year-old man was charged with supplying drugs within the
premises at the Ark in New Street, Edinburgh, which was swooped on
by more than 40 police officers following complaints from
neighbours about drug dealing.
Source:- The Scotsman  Saturday 17 May

Nurseries face strikes next week
Nursery nurses, who have voted for industrial action, will start
with a two-day stoppage in the Lothians next week.
Nurseries across the area will be forced to close as a result of a
lack of staff.
There will also be a boycott of additional duties, which nurses
union Unison said had been added to jobs since the last pay review
15 years ago.
Source:- The Scotsman  Saturday 17 May
Small firms face bog bills for better disabled access
Businesses are facing bills as high as hundreds of
millions of pounds in order to comply with new disability access
laws, or risk a massive compensation payout when the regulations
come into force next year.
A total of £116 million has been set aside by the Scottish
executive to help some of those affected including schools, local
authority premises and dentists, but thousands of small businesses
have been told they must pay themselves.
Source:- The Scotsman  Monday 19 May page 5
Teenagers take legal action over bullies
Two more Scottish teenagers have taken legal action over
bullying just weeks after it was warned a flood of cases would
ensue following a successful legal challenge.
A second pupil at Blairgowerie won an interim interdict on Friday
forbidding two pupils from further verbal or physical assault. In
Dundee a 15-year-old girl has taken legal action successfully
against two pupils who she claims have subjected her to a bullying
campaign for months.
Last week, the manager of the Scottish executive’s
Anti-Bullying Network, Andrew Mellor, said courts could soon be
swamped with cases brought by the families of victims of bullying
after 17-year-old Jenny Souter won a groundbreaking court order
against school bullies.
Source:- The Scotsman  Monday 19 May page 7
Bad behaviour is increasing, say teachers
Bad behaviour in schools has increased significantly in
the last two years, according to half of secondary teachers
surveyed on pupil indiscipline.
General secretary of the Scottish Secondary Teachers’
Association told his union’s annual conference that 77 per
cent of members who responded to the survey now thought
indiscipline in schools was “significant” or
“very significant”.
Source:- The Herald  Monday 19 May
Validity of shaken baby cases challenged
Medical experts addressing two conferences in Edinburgh next week
will question the validity of child abuse in shaken baby syndrome
Coinciding with a two-day European conference at Edinburgh
organised by the National Centre on Shaken Baby Syndrome in the
United States, speakers at a press conference in Scotland will
challenge the consensus view on SBS debating recent medical
evidence which shows minor falls and birth trauma can mimic the
injuries supposedly characteristic of the syndrome.
Source:- The Herald  Monday 19 May
15 cops for 2 teen yobs
A teenager was caught in a stolen car yesterday after an angry
community demanded police action against him.
The 16-year-old, who has 25 criminal charges outstanding, and his
best friend, with over 47 charges, have held a reign of terror over
their neighbours at the Inch, south Edinburgh.
There are now 15 police officers on the beat in the area to try and
control the anti-social behaviour. The leaders of a gang have
orchestrated vandalism, theft, graffiti and attacks on older
Source:- Daily Record  Monday 19 May page 19

Welsh newspapers

More Welsh people are feeling stressed out

Almost one in five Welsh people say they feel stressed, with
money worries being the biggest form of concern.
The poll that was carried out for the Samaritans reveals that 41
per cent of Welsh people are more stressed out now than they were
five years ago.
The findings show that alcohol and cigarettes are means by which
some groups try to control their stress levels, but the research
also shows that around seven per cent of Welsh people become
suicidal as a result of their worries.

Source:- Western Mail Monday 19 May page 6

Shocked councillor snaps a day’s

A councillor shocked by the level of vandalism in his community
has made a photographic record of the extent of the damage.
In an effort to highlight the problem Keith Davies, a Neath Port
Talbot county and Coedffranc community councillor, took a series of
photographs over the course of one day to record the levels of
anti-social behaviour in Skewen, Neath.
He says that what he photographed was only the tip of a very large
iceberg, and that the problem seemed to be worse in Skewen than in
other communities.

Source:- Western Mail Monday 19 May page 6

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